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If you are not able to source users through the client or pay a recruitment firm, what are the alternatives to find participants for User Research Interviews? Do you search for participants through social media and approach end users through there?

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If you already got your product set up (e.g. website, app)you can use the following methods

  • chat bot (prompt for user feedback after the user engages)
  • using existing mailing list

you can also use the following screens with a banner that leads to a user research sign up page.

  • Confirmation screen
  • 404 page
  • footer of your website

If you haven't got anything set up you can use guerilla testing method where you approach people in public areas like cafes.

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  • What also often happens is that company's look within their own circle (e.g. friends, family of employees) that might fit the criteria of the desired participant. Of course the outcome of that is incredibly dependant on how 'difficult' it is to find a certain profile. A 'person interested in cars' is much easier to find than 'person who works in risk in the financial world'. – Wendy Wojenka Jul 31 at 8:34
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Depending on what niche you are working in, you can try out reddit. I sent messages to individuals who answered my question on reddit to check if they were interested in being a part of the interview. Slack channels are another way to reach out to potential users. Hope this helps!

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Start with a plan. You should recruit participants who represent your target group/end users. If you don't have the funds to use a recruitment agency, you must recruit participants yourself. The best way to do that depends on the project. Using your network or posting on social media like (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit), can be efficient if your participants are people who are not too far from your own social circle. Also outside there are many slack groups that can give you the ability to find some participants.

How closely related your participants can be to you again depends on your project, but in this case, you have less risk of bias if your participants don’t know you personally.

Also, if you need to recruit user groups that are hard to reach, then you can use interest groups or internet forums where you think people from your target group might be active.

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